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Nancy Smith

White Supremacist Teacher Mustn't Be Returned to the Classroom

March 10, 2018 - 6:00am

What will Citrus County school authorities do about white supremacist teacher Dayanna Volitich? I hope, the right thing.

Volitich can't be allowed to return to her social studies classroom at Crystal River Middle School. Even, at best, if she's found not to have brought her views to school and shared them with her students.

It's too late for that. Even if she keeps her mouth shut from here to Doomsday, for many in Citrus County, she will always wear a racist label. 

Her conduct, as news outlets all over the country and beyond, including Sunshine State News have reported -- using social media to host a white nationalist podcast called "Unapologetic" -- may go beyond Freedom of Speech protections.

To help teachers navigate treacherous waters, in 2015 the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) issued an updated version on the free speech rights of teachers for Washington state.

The ACLU warns, if school officials can show political expression outside the classroom “could adversely affect school functions or your effectiveness as a teacher, the First Amendment may not protect you.” They offer similar advice for the use of social media, an area where “law is continuing to evolve.” 

According to the ACLU, “if you use social media in your private capacity to express your beliefs on a matter of public concern, you may be protected. However, if you use social media to comment about students, school or other work-related matters, or you use it to engage in what might be considered conduct impairing your functioning as a teacher, the First Amendment may not protect you.”

Dayanna Volitich did indeed "use social media to comment about students, school or other work-related matters ..." etc., according to the investigative reporting of the Huffington Post, first to release this story.

Despite her insistence that spoken content on her show was not reflective of anything she taught in the classroom, as the Huffington Post discovered, the teacher actually spoke at length about the subversive ways she would see that her worldview would find its way into her teaching.

First Amendment aside, this story reaches my heart. 

And, frankly, I think if nothing else, it should reach the Citrus County school system's sense of decency, fair play and responsibility to the whole community it serves. Think about it: Volitich is molding young minds in a public school -- a PUBLIC school. Or, at least she was until Citrus County removed her until the investigation is finished. 

Try to imagine you're a non-white student in Volitich's social studies class. What do you do with this new information about your teacher's "white superiority"? She's already stipulated on "Unapologetic" that science has proven “certain races are smarter than others.” You have to wonder if your other white teachers share her views. You have to ask yourself what chance do you have in this classroom, at this school, in your future. That's what hurts my heart.

And over the years, I've talked to other minorities in this state who experienced Volitich-like prejudices in the classroom, some of it that affected their self-worth, and worse.

Citrus is a small, predominantly white county. Minority students are few and far between.  With 768 students, Crystal River Middle is 86 percent white -- which compares to 40 percent of white students in the average Florida school with the same 16:1 student-teacher ratio. I can only imagine how isolated the few minority students in Volitich's class must feel.

Recent studies have found more and more black families are homeschooling their children because of the racism students are taught and experience in school systems. This is for good reason: Studies have closely linked racism and depression in black and Latino children.

A spokesperson in School Superintendent Sandra "Sam" Himmel's office would not settle whether Volitich had been suspended with or without pay, nor would she answer other questions about the classroom or school "until the investigation is over." She said Friday she was referring all callers to "our statement on the District website." 

One piece of hopeful news in Citrus: In October, Volitich tweeted under her social-media pseudonym, Tiana Dalichov, that her school was making her learn about the effects of white privilege and systemic racism (though, sadly, she added, “Systemic racism and white privilege aren’t real").

What I'd like to see is Florida turn the Dayanna Volitich story into something positive.

I'd like to see it be the beginning of a conversation started by the state's dominant party, the GOP -- in my opinion, wrongly identified as the party that doesn't give a hoot whether Florida minorities are fairly treated.

Who better than, say, influential Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, who represents Citrus County, to seek a Blue Ribbon committee on building racial equality in Florida schools, bringing in Education Commissioner Pam Stewart, other educators, administrators and  lawmakers -- but most important, minorities who can talk from experience and help guide the process to something meaningful. 

Such an effort would need to grow into more than talk. Florida, one of the three most racially diverse states, could lead the nation not only in keeping classrooms safe, but in keeping them fair.

Reach Nancy Smith at nsmith@sunshinestatenews.com or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith.

Comments

"Walmart" is always looking for cashiers,,, she sounds eminently qualified (it's ok that she's not too bright, the cash register does the math...)

Must we hate on the cashiers? Can't we save it for the politicians?

Must we hate on the cashiers? Can't we save it for the politicians?

We have no problem having teachers who support the Black Panthers or who villify the police! We need to look at both ends of the spectrum. If she is not sharing this view in her classroom, then she should not be penalized. I cannot tell you the number of anti-white comments made by some teachers in their classroom. The law is about expressing your political views inside your classroom.

The Black Panther Party came about as a response to the all too prevalent police brutality in the black community. Police brutality against blacks has not changed in 50 years. The police who do not protect and serve deserve to be vilified. And yes racism should be addressed absolutely. But equating the BLM movement with the Nazi party or white supremacist is what racists would do.

Sunshinemom, So you essentially think that Black Lives Matter is a "good" cause while White Nationalism is a "bad" cause. That's fine, but is the idea of Black Lives Matter being better than White nationalism a fact or an opinion? As I reminded Robbie below, an extremely-strongly held opinion is still an opinion -- I'm not sure that you fully get that. And that's why all sides are suppose to be allowed to speak. By the way, what if a Jewish teacher spoke out in favor of Zionism -- of a Jewish Israel? Should that teacher be fired as well, or is Jewish nationalism okay, but not White nationalism? If so, you know what the sounds like to me? Racism! It's basically treating one group differently from another. Now do you see what road you and your side are trying to get us to go down?

she will after 1st amendment lawsuit.....but she already been offered several job offers teaching.IF Citrus Co..votes to let her go...YES...there are Schools that don't Teach Liberal Left Wing Ideology and Bias on any other 1st Amendment Ideology ...what Good For The Goose is Good For the Gander ...

Really? Thats a private school and their rules apply there. So they can fire you for hate speech or anything that they dont like and she gets the job only after signing the terms and conditions. May be she should try the kkk schools(if there are any) or work as a cashier because she is just a bachelors of arts graduate and low IQ idiot.

Pray tell, because she has no known teaching offers I have read about. Are you a personal friend of this person?

How wonderful that Comrade Nancy Smith campaign against the First Amendment when the content of the speech does not align with her anti-White, anti-American ideology. The First Amendment is in place to guard against scum like Smith who's mission is to squash any dissent from the extreme leftist positions she admires. When larger and larger school systems succumb to leftist indoctrination of U.S. children is gives hope that heroic teachers like Ms. Volitich can salvage what education is supposed to be, a learning experience. We can readily see what the leftist scum have done to higher institutions of learning where free thought and free expression is stifled in pursuit of communist and socialist doctrine. Now their efforts shift toward the lower levels of education. The ACLU would better serve the national (as in Nationalist) interest by DEFENDING Ms. Volitich and condemning Comrade Smith.

Dave so its ok to spew hate and bigotry. Is this the America you want? Where Whites can say what they please, and to whom they please? This is a Teacher - a person who can directly influence a child. Is this what you want a Teacher to do spew hate regardless of what political spectrum she/he likes. America is suppose to be about equality - its plainly obvious that many Whites feel oppress when the playing field is leveled or an attempt is made to do so. My equality = You oppression. Is that the America you want. Do yourself a favor - stop trying to equate the "Left" with being Communist, I believe the Cold War has been won.

"Where Whites can say what they please, and to whom they please?" You mean like free speech? Yes, that is, actually, kind of what America is supposed to be about, even more so than equality. And even if America IS supposed to be about equality, the concept of free speech is supposed to allow people to publicly disagree with what America is supposed to be about. It's also far from clear that this teacher brought her views into the classroom. And even if she did, another teacher is free to give the children the opposing view as well. That's diversity, too -- diversity of thought. Robbie, an extremely-strongly held opinion is still an opinion. And try as you might to deny it, all you're supporting is the silencing of people who don't agree with your opinion. Maybe one day you'll hold an unpopular opinion and you'll finally get that.

"Dave", hope you're not related to Peyton and Eli,...because that might mean they're morons too. Tell us it isn't so...)

So why is it acceptable to teach and push communism and socialism? Both of which are Anti-American and anti-constitutional. Her views not that I agree with all of them are a direct result of progressive Anti-American teaching that's permeated our public school system. Our children are not taught how to think but what to think!

Robert - Tell me what is our Police Department(s), Firemen, teachers? They are public servants, quite socialistic if you ask me. America has her brand of socialism, why is it that you think that government shouldn't provide for its subject but can provide for corporations. Hint - without subjects, there be no corporations. A capitalist system running wild is what we had until about 1930(s). Do you not see how you want America to be the Largest 3rd World Nation in the World? there is no compassion on the Right, its about Me Me & Me. BTW - kids are being taught how to think, its the Right, led by Fox News that is Telling You How to Think.

Comments are now closed.

nancy smith
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